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So, I think I figured out how the bus system works...

ARGENTINA | Friday, 26 June 2009 | Views [565] | Comments [1]

I woke up early Monday morning and, because this is my last week in Cordoba, I wanted to head toward el centro (downtown) early in order to complete last-minute tasks.

I unlocked and opened the front dooor.  Turned around and locked it again from the outside then left through the large wrought-iron gate in front of the house (there are robbers here).  I paused and felt the cool morning air prick my cheecks.  I sniffed, struggling not to have a runny nose.  I knew that my face looked snow-white (as it always does in the morning), with a bright red nose (it's cold), my eyes where puffy and almost closed shut.  The day before, I ate a lot of yogurt and I have a slight intolerance to lactose.  Therefore, I had a stuffy nose and puffy eyes and a lot of mucus in my sinuses the next day.

Shivering, I walked to the bus stop and waited.  I swayed, putting weight on one leg and then the other.  I hunched my shoulders up in order to cover my kneck and ears.

The first bus that came to a stop was Bus "C."

I've only ever taken Bus C4 to get to el centro.  One day, while I was waiting at the bus stop in el centro, my host mom told me that I could take bus "C" to return home.

I've always thought that buses go in circles.  It makes sense right?  They all end up on the same route?

If bus "C" takes me home from el centro, then I'm sure it goes to el centro from my house.  But I'm not sure...but I'm freezing.

The bus came to a stop in front of me. I had to make a quick decesion (a tough job for a Libra).  What the heck. I thought as I stepped on the bus.

I took a seat really close to the front.  My whole body felt tired.  Normally, I stand on the bus because older people sit, but I think all that yogurt just made me feel like a sack of flour.  I couldn't stand.

We took a different path then I was used to, but Cordoba is a large city, there are plenty of ways to get to el centro.

15 minutes pass...

I'm usually at el centro by now.  I thought.  Oh well, this is nice.  It's like...like a free tour of Cordoba!...witout a guide.  I looked out at all of the houses, it all looked the same to me.  I was bored, but so tired that I didn't care.

I started to daydream about my future.  I often do this in cars.

More time passes... 

For the past few minutes the bus driver kept looking at me in his mirror.  What is his deal?  Ugh, he better not be checking me out.  I can't take any more of that!

When the passenger in front of me leaves the bus, I snap back to reality (like the eminem song).  I looked at my watch.

45 minutes had passed since I boarded the bus.  No need to freak out right?  I mean, Cordoba is the second largest city in Argentina. 

For the first time, I turned my head around.

Empty.

I was alone on a huge, empty bus.

I looked outside.  This definatly wasn't el centro.  This neighborhood looked run-down.  The only people in sight looked more indigenous than what I was used to.  I realized that more European-looking people tend to live in el centro and more indigenous-looking people live in the outskirts.

I felt a tap on my shoulder and didn't need to turn around to know what was behind me...

F-E-A-R.

He beat me on the head with a huge log.  But this time, I was ready!  I faught back...

FEAR, SHUT UP!  He sulked off into the corner.  

The next item on my agenda was to get to el centro.  I approached the bus driver. 

"Vas el centro?"

He had an expression on his face that screamed:  are you an idiot?

"No"

Great.  Now what?  I don't have any money, just my credit card.  I can't use that in a Taxi.  I felt my heart pounded faster in my chest.  I exhaled a huge amount of air and composed myself. I need to look at my options.  A-I can ask the driver where el centro is and try to walk it...probably takes about 5 hours from here.  B-Kindly ask the driver to drive me to the center...yeah right.  C-Walk until I see a taxi, then ask the taxi-driver to drive me to the center for free.  There are nice people all over the world...someone has to help me.  Option C is the best. 

"Tengo que tomar un taxi."  I said, as I looked out the window.  There where no taxi's in sight.

"No hay."  Fear started creeping toward me again.  The driver pointed to a spot on the side of the road where a group of women stood with their children.  "Tomate collectivo C5."

I think he meant that Bus C5 will take me from this, unmarked bus-stop, to el centro.  I have faith God.  I know everything will be alright. 

I stepped off the bus and crossed the street.  In less than 5 minutes bus C5 rounded the corner.  I got on and took another 45-minute bus ride to el centro.

Apparently, buses don't run in circles...just so you know.

Comments

1

Girl you have guts. I would have freaked out. We had Ellie on this day. Sent pictures:)

  NICOLE Jul 6, 2009 7:19 AM

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